About the author

Born in the year 1843 James Bartholomew Bass was raised for the first twelve years of his life as an orphaned only child in the Derbyshire workhouse where his mother lived and worked for a short time after her husband’s tragic death in a mining accident until her passing in 1843 during childbirth.

Soon after his twelfth birthday James ran away from the dour, oppressive workhouse life and made directly for London where, in the East End district of Whitechapel, he proceeded to live for the next two years of his young life relying on his natural guile and wits alone in order to survive. During this time Bass met and formed what was to become a lifelong friendship with fellow street urchin Alan Tiberius Blackmore and whilst employing certain questionable, and more often than not quite illegal methods of securing their next meal and keeping a dry roof over their heads the pair began to develop not only a keen instinct for survival but also coupled with an encyclopaedic knowledge of London and Whitechapel in particular, a problem solving acumen that honed their rapidly developing intellects and was supported by the pairs fearsome reputation for employing violence to achieve their goals.

Facing the unenviable choice of immediate transportation to an antipodean penal colony for life or joining the Army after being arrested and found guilty of perpetrating various misdemeanours in and around the city the hapless pair opted for the latter and were pressed into service with the Prince consorts own 95th Rifle Brigade. After a distinguished career of fifteen years with the Rifle Brigade, a further five years spent with Prince Albert's own Hussars Regiment then another seven years as agents sequestered to Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s special black operations unit CSF (Covert Special Forces) both men retired bearing full military honours in the year 1885 after serving in the second Anglo-Afghan war.

Having been highly decorated for services rendered to Queen and country and rising to the rank of major, James B. Bass and his companion commander Alan T. Blackmore were recommended by their military superiors to the top table of the newly commissioned London Metropolitan Police force where they each took up the immediate rank of detective inspector under the command and mentorship of detective superintendent Frank Abeline and were based in the Leman Street station house in the heart of Whitechapel.

Both detectives became founder members of the organisation known as The League of Ghosts and a series of short stories chronicling the pairs many and varied exploits were adapted from the original journals kept by detective chief inspector James Bartholomew Bass.

The Victorian Detectives, The League of Ghosts, book quotations, character names and images ©jbbass.co.uk